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View Diary: Wikileaks Releases Statement After U.S. Intel Detains Editor (177 comments)

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  •  Good points (4+ / 0-)

    I agree with your basic points regarding the handling of classified and sensitive information.  The nation's security should always be the paramount consideration.

    However, I disagree with the assumption, "if the information is classified, it is because the information could be used to exploit perceived or real weaknesses and cost real lives."  A lot of information has been classified merely to protect the government from embarassment involving non-classified activities.  That, as you correctly pointed out, is illegal.

    •  The point of leaking draft political documents... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard, neroden, La Gitane, MichaelNY

      ...is something to consider. But the notion that all information the government deems classified could get people killed if released is BS.

      Sometimes the release of the info will save lives as a matter of fact.

      I look at this in a similar way to the general notion of free speech, you have to take some of the bad in order to assure the good.

      •  Great discussion (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lysias, MichaelNY

        I have the same problem with AZ's comment; I agree that illegal acts that are classified should be exposed (of course!).  But, anything that is classified that shouldn't be should also be exposed.

        As we have seen many examples, classifying information is more and more commonly used to hide illicit government behavior, or even more simply just to hide bad news.

        And correct - very little is "secret" to our enemies.  BTW - I think that BY FAR the worst transgression of divulging classified info is when someone's classified cover is blown.  SEE Valerie Plame.... Revealing the id of an undercover agent is inexcusable; not only life-endangering for the agent herself, but also for her colleagues and destroys the entire project.  Really, I can't remember one instance of a member of the press on their own divulging the identity of an undercover agent.

        We need watchdogs out there exposing what needs to be exposed.  I believe that the vast majority of "classified" info really wouldn't do jack shit if released - but it would probably make life a little difficult for the bureaucrats and politicians involved.

        "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

        by La Gitane on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 09:28:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I can understand the disagreement (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      From my standpoint, classified information regarding cryptography, troop movements/locations, communications frequencies, etc. are what I am considering.

      This is the information that could take our edge away- just a few months ago, some of our enemies were able to use a $10 software program to view live feeds from aerial drones. The frequency this stuff is using shouldn't be freely distributed.

      It's just an example, but I want to clarify that I don't think EVERY classified document SHOULD be classified, but ones that affect the safety of the public/troops should be.

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